Working with influencers: everything you need to know
Working with influencers is becoming the standard of marketing promotion for any brand. The information received from bloggers is trusted more than traditional media. They consult with them, listen to them, and “buy” from them. Over the short period of existence of Influencer marketing, different approaches to working with opinion leaders have already been formed. Someone bets on bloggers with a million people, someone only collaborates with micro- or even nano-influencers. It all depends on the promoted product.
What are the features of working with influencers
Influencers are the fastest growing customer acquisition channel today. They set trends and shape public opinion. The popularity of influence marketing is so great that in 2020 the market volume reached $ 10 billion.
By cooperating with bloggers, the brand acquires both access to an audience of thousands and author’s content to promote its product. Influencers open up an excellent opportunity to advance through their authority and combine seemingly incompatible things – a celebrity effect and a trusting tone. At the same time, they are setting new standards for advertising that you must understand.
Working with opinion leaders requires taking into account a number of peculiarities:
- Brand ideas and suggestions should be relevant to the theme of the account. Advertising will only succeed if Influencer followers are your target audience.
- It’s important for influencers to get creative freedom. Just a promotional blog post will look disorganized, so immediately think about how the chosen blogger could spread the word about your product.
- Influencers value their reputation. Authority is their capital. Therefore, they will not advertise whatever is horrible, and first you need to convince the blogger that your product is of high quality, will be interesting and useful to their subscribers.
- Difficulties of choice and control. The vibrant and fashionable influencer marketing market is an ideal environment for fraudulent schemes. Bloggers increase subscribers, fake statistics, buy likes and comments to show activity. At the same time, it is not so easy to track frauds and only a detailed analysis of statistics helps.
Anything can be promoted through influencer marketing. With its help, any company can get in touch with potential clients, erase the boundaries of formality, increase trust and recognition. It is only important to choose the right influencer and establish cooperation.
How to interact with influencers
An influencer is any person who has media weight: a blogger, a celebrity with subscribers, or a simple social network user who enjoys authority.
There are several ways to interact with influencers: directly, through specialized exchanges or agencies. Let’s consider how the work with bloggers is organized in each specific case.
Influencers are users of social networks. You can search and negotiate cooperation with them right there. To find a suitable account, you can use the search method by hashtags, geolocation, keyword in the description. When the list of potential candidates has been selected, you need to contact each of them to request account statistics, discuss the terms of cooperation.
The most convenient way to search for influencers is through trendHERO. The catalog contains a database of more than 16 million bloggers, which can be selected according to the specified parameters using 11 filters.
The service will help not only to facilitate the search for a blogger with the audience you need. Provides trendHERO and up-to-date profile statistics. Users have 90+ metrics at their disposal, including those that allow them to track the growth of subscribers, likes and comments.
Through an agency
Demand creates offers. Today, there are many influencer marketing agencies that take over the organization of work with bloggers. Agencies provide a full range of services: from the selection of a suitable opinion leader to drawing up a contract and monitoring compliance with all its conditions.
Agencies charge a fee for their services. As a rule, this is a certain percentage of the contract value.
Via the exchange
Exchanges are platforms created to connect bloggers and businesses looking for traffic and reach. This is a relatively fast and safe way to search for bloggers, in which the exchange acts as a guarantor of the deal – the advertiser pays immediately, and the money is credited to the influencer’s account only after he fulfills the terms of the deal.
How to build a job
When a blogger with a suitable audience has already been selected, and the goals are predetermined, you still need to correctly build the work. To protect you from possible difficulties, let’s highlight the key stages of working with bloggers and describe each of them in detail.
What questions to ask before cooperation
Working with an influencer can both bring your brand to a new target market and cause a waste of your advertising budget. To anticipate the latter, conduct a short interview with a potential collaborator.
What to ask:
- Who follows the influencer? Influencer followers should represent your target audience. Otherwise, you shouldn’t expect a large conversion.
- What kind of content does the blogger create? Account content should be consistent with the goals and position of your brand. In addition, you need to make sure that what you say in the past or in the future does not harm your brand’s reputation.
- Has the blogger collaborated with your competitors? The partnership may not make sense if the blogger is already working with your direct competitor, because in this case the content will seem unreliable and contradictory to the audience.
- How much advertising content is published in an account? This may seem like a trifle, but as practice shows, the more often ads are published in an account, the less conversion from collaboration.
- What does the opinion leader already know about your product? If the blogger is an honest admirer of your product, then the advertising campaign will flow more naturally. If an influencer has never used your products, that’s not always a bad thing either. You just have to introduce him to your brand.
- What will your collaboration look like? Discuss with the influencer how many posts will be posted, what will be their format. There are tons of creative possibilities here.
How to check audience quality
Before starting cooperation, you should check the quality of the blogger’s audience – engagement, lack of markups, compliance with the portrait of your target audience. The trendHERO service will help you with this.
The service provides detailed statistics about accounts, including such metrics useful for determining the quality of the audience as:
- engagement rate;
- audience availability and authenticity;
- audience demographics and interests;
- subscriber growth;
- average number of likes and their distribution;
- comment types and their distribution.
You shouldn’t prefer the quantity of the audience to its quality. Social networks have not taken into account the number of followers in the ranking for a long time. The percentage of engagement and the quality of the audience decides everything.
Preparing and launching an advertising campaign
In order for your ad to work, everything must be thought out to the smallest detail, and only outwardly look like a random post. First, tell the influencer the goals that you set for the advertising campaign. Only in this case he will be able to competently convey the desired message to the target audience.
Next, ask the influencer what options the blogger can offer to achieve their goals. It is optimal if 2-3 publications of different formats are developed.
All details of the agreements must be included in a complete marketing brief, which includes:
- placement site;
- publication format;
- scripts and texts of publications;
- link placement;
- minimum achievable KPIs;
- release date;
- cost of placement;
- blogger’s participation in discussions through comments, etc.
Try to discuss each of the points with the blogger and come to a mutual understanding.
The next step is content production and placement. The blogger, like no one else, knows his audience, and what format it will “enter”, so here he can be given freedom, but you should definitely ask to send a draft of the post before publishing it for approval.
The classic influencer marketing storytelling model looks like this:
- Story is a problem the blogger faced.
- Market situation – a story about poorly performing solutions on the market.
- Offering the perfect solution is a native advertisement for your product or service.
In a sponsored post, most of the time, a blogger will have to tell a life story, and for influencer marketing, this is more than normal. The 80/20 scheme works great here. Therefore, you do not need to try to fit all your benefits into one ad post. This will only cause distrust and subconscious blocking of content among users.
The only thing left to do is to publish the content at the agreed time. After some period, it will be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of cooperation.
How to calculate KPI
There is no universal indicator that would show the effectiveness of cooperation. Before starting work, you need to determine the goals of your advertising company and the KPIs that could best reflect the performance.
So, depending on the situation, the most important KPI indicators can be the overall coverage of the publication, the number of registrations, leads or sales made. For example, if the goal of an advertising campaign was to increase brand awareness, the most important metric would be the reach achieved.
In general, in order to understand the effectiveness, it is recommended to consider the following indicators:
- attracted traffic;
- the number of clicks and their cost;
- growth of subscribers and registrations;
Benefits of working with influencers
Influencer marketing is a more delicate approach to promotion. The advertising offer in it is disguised in a confidential tone and unobtrusive manner of presentation, due to which it does not cause rejection, unlike traditional advertising. Agree, people have long been not guided by beautiful advertising when choosing a product. Today it is really important for people to know the opinion of those who tested a product or used a service.
Brand promotion through marketing influence has a number of advantages:
- increase in coverage;
- an opportunity to get interesting content;
- increasing the level of trust;
- increasing the loyalty of potential customers;
- increasing the level of awareness.
According to statistics, 49% of all consumer decisions depend on the recommendations of opinion leaders, and after cooperation with influencers, sales growth increases by an average of 30%.
How to avoid mistakes
Influencers can be of great benefit to a company, but, of course, only if everything is done right. To avoid problems with cooperation, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the list of the most common mistakes:
- Lack of clear goals. Set clear goals, methods for measuring them, and deadlines. You need to know what to strive for.
- Audience mismatch. Be sure to select opinion leaders who give access to your target audience, otherwise time and effort will be wasted.
- Underestimating the creativity of influencers. Control everything, but don’t force the blogger into a rigid box. He knows better than anyone what his audience needs.
- Not long-term cooperation. It is recommended to have several sponsored publications of different formats with one blogger. This will help your ad look more organic.
- Remember that this is, first of all, content, and only then advertising. You shouldn’t try to fit all marketing gimmicks into a post at once. The offer must be present, but in moderation.
- Experiment constantly. Sometimes, after implementing several successful advertising campaigns, a brand begins to do everything like a blueprint. This is fundamentally wrong, because what is good for subscribers of one blogger may not work at all in another account.
Working with influencers will help you increase the loyalty of potential customers, reach new audiences and pump your content marketing. But for everything to be successful, you need to collaborate only with those influencers whose audience will be interested in your product. It is equally important to learn how to adapt your sales proposal to the format of influencers and make it as native as possible. If you take into account all the nuances of working with influencers, the response from advertising can amaze you.